Dragging my wretched rucksack down to the port in Naples, I was completely clueless as to where to board my ferry. Turns out the Italians aren't big on signposting. Struggling along, attempting not to get crushed by the oncoming lorries, I saw a face I recognised.
It was one of the cute bearded guys from the hostel. I'd seen him around, but never actually spoken to him, what with my time being absorbed mostly by American men. I strolled up to him & thankfully, he recognised me. Turns out he's Argentinian & really rather attractive. Bonus points were accrued when I found out we were booked onto the same ferry & had both bought a seat.
The two of us boarded the ferry, dumped our bags & went for a stroll around the ship. I'd been advised to purchase some food from the supermercato before boarding, but, as I'd over indulged on cannolis earlier in the day, my stomach wasn't up for grocery shopping. Unfortunately, this was now backfiring, as all the vending machines were out-of-order & the food available in the ship's restaurants was über expensive.
Argentina bought me a can of Coke & we stood out on the deck, with nothing but the stars visible. It certainly made for a romantic setting. The ferry journey was eleven hours long & for about the first four, Argentina & I talked, non-stop. A little part of me was, of course, starting to day dream about the possibility of eloping to South America. Was this what I was meant to find?
When the cold set in, Argentina & I headed inside to our seats. There was one channel available on the TV & it was showing a Sylvester Stallone film, dubbed in Italian. Starting to fall asleep with boredom, Argentina went in for the kiss. This was it...& never have I been so disappointed! Lets just say, our styles were clashing on an extreme level! My South American dreams were dashed in one tongue poke.
Now stuck with a guy I no longer had feelings for & couldn't revert to being 'just friends', my night's sleep was awkward to say the least. These Argentinian guys get very hands on. I'd never been so grateful to see sunrise! We then had to wait a painful hour before we could get off the ship & then, once again clueless, I followed Argentina to his hostel. I felt rather guilty when he carried my bag for me.
The American woman at reception told me that the next bus from where we were in Palermo to my hostel in Enna, wasn't until one pm, which meant I had several hours to wait. Leaving our bags at the hostel, Argentina & I went for a stroll down to the station to check out buses & then took a stroll through a food market, which trailed round winding back streets.
Eventually the time passed, the temperatures began to sear & Argentina walked the ten minutes down to the station with me, to see me off. I felt rather guilty when he selflessly took my rucksack once again & carried all two tonnes of it on his back, all the way down there. Once there he waited the hour for my bus, kissed me goodbye when it arrived & then left. To think, if it wasn't for his erratic tongue actions, we could have been a thing. [sigh]
I slept the hour & a half on the bus & when I woke, nearly didn't get off at my stop, as once again, Italy's lack of signposting really doesn't make things very clear. Once off the bus, I started to question whether I'd landed myself in the middle of nowhere. All that surrounded me was a bar, a petrol station & residential houses. Things weren't looking great.
I headed for the bar & the proprietors told me to go back to the bus stop & wait for the next bus to the top of Enna. Off I went, dragging my bag back to the shelter. I'm not one for buses in the UK, so I can't say that I have great skills when it comes to bus timetables, but the Italian timetables are even less clear, not least because they are in a language I lack the skills to understand.
After waiting & waiting & some further waiting, I eventually found a ticket office open & thankfully the guy working there spoke English. He Google mapped my hostel & told me which bus to get & where to get off. Off I went, hopped on the bus & held on for dear life, as it sped round the road's bends with the door wide open!
Getting off at one of the piazzas, I dragged my bag up the cobbled hill, aimlessly trying to find my hostel. I came across a guy in his fifties & tried to extract some directions from him. He kept pointing up the hill & going 'bella bella'. Off I trod up this hill, getting hot & bothered & losing patience. Suddenly I realised this guy was following me. Naively I presumed he was leading me to the hostel, but no, he led me to his car.
Being incredibly stupid, tired & just plain lazy, I actually made the error of accepting a lift with him. This man did not speak one word of English & once off up the hill, I realised this was fatal, when he started to touch my leg. 'This is it, I'm going to be raped & murdered' I thought. He pulled up outside a large castle & I was pretty sure this wasn't the hostel. Getting out of the car, he indicated he wanted a kiss of gratitude. I leaned in & gave him a peck on the cheek. Nope, he wanted a kiss on the lips. Yeah, I don't think so sunshine. I grabbed my bag from the backseat & ran off back down the hill mentally slapping myself! Never again!
After an eternity, I eventually found my hostel & low & behold, it happened to be two minutes away from where I got off the bus! I checked in & found that the hostel was seemingly empty of people. Enna is clearly not a great tourist attraction. Definitely thinking I'd made a fatal error in picking this location, I headed out & grabbed some gelato. After which I went straight to the only supermercato that was open & stocked up on junk food. I needed comforting.
The next day an English guy & a very excitable Chinese woman arrived. Both were staying in the mixed dorm across the hall from me. The English guy was a teacher, currently living in Dubai. The two of us went off to explore all the wonders that Enna had to offer. Which unfortunately, wasn't very much. There was a castle, which was more of a ruin & took two minutes to view & a giant rock, with views of the whole town, which we sat atop of & watched as the sunset went down. It was pretty beautiful. We later went for dinner together at this tiny cave like place, which was seemingly someone's house-turned-restaurant. The food was, unfortunately, pretty mediocre.
The next day the Teacher & I took a bus to the next town, in order to avoid complete boredom. We arrived about one or two in the afternoon & the entire town was desolate. In Sicily & most likely any non-touristic part of Italy, everything shuts down until about four o'clock. Everyone retires to their homes to cook, nap, generally relax & avoid the heat.
The Teacher & I strolled around, attempting to find points of interest. There was a beautiful church, which had been locked up & abandoned. A nunnery, which unfortunately, we couldn't go into, so we walked around the graveyard instead. (Something very odd about taking an interest in the graves of deceased strangers.) There was a cave. I started to think we were better off in Enna.
As four o'clock came, people started to emerge from their houses & the two of us went to one of the two bars in the town & got some much needed gelato! Soon after we got the bus back to Enna & I started to wonder if I should have left Naples after all.
Back at the hostel the Teacher & I made some pasta together for dinner & then afterwards we went & had some vino on the balcony with the Chinese woman. The Teacher, looking a little glazed over, began to be a little too friendly with me. Rubbing my back when he thought I was cold & staring at me intently. This was not a good sign. I am well known for my dislike of people touching me & he was making me feel rather uncomfortable.
I made my excuses & headed for bed, only to have him follow me! Panicking that he may go in for a kiss, I started cleaning my teeth in the doorway. Thankfully, he eventually left, unfortunately, I had made plans to go to the beach with him the next morning. This was obviously pre-vino!
Come the morning I ignored my phone & slept through my alarm. Sadly he came into my room to wake me up, so I was forced to make my excuses & managed to get out of going. He seemed annoyed. I was relieved he would be gone for the day. I spent my day eating gelato in the piazza & attempting to learn Italian. There were precisely two people in Enna that spoke English, which meant I had to consult my phrase book every time I went to buy a slice of pizza.
The next day I was determined to leave Enna, so I packed up my rucksack, checked out of the hostel & headed up the hill to the bus station. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday & there were limited buses. I'd been emailing the farm, I was heading to, all day & hadn't received a response. Eventually, I managed to pull over a cyclist, who pulled over a bus & the bus driver, who spoke no English whatsoever, managed to inform me that the buses were running regularly the next day & gave me a timetable.
So, off I went, back down the bloody hill, back to the hostel & checked in for another night. The Chinese woman had had a friend arrive earlier in the day & the two of them were also aiming to leave the next day, so they insisted on me eating dinner with them, as they wanted to cook up the rest of the food they had in the fridge. They were both very good cooks & managed to whip up some really nice Chinese food. Just before serving, The Teacher arrived back from his day out cycling & he too joined us for dinner. It was mildly awkward between us.
The next day, I was finally ready to leave Enna, for good this time! The Chinese woman had left early in the morning, but her friend, The Teacher & I all headed to the bus station, to get the bus together, as we were all going to Catania. The three of us boarded the bus & as it trundled on through the town, I was really happy to be leaving.